Introduction—In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws, the AVMA/ Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) provides equal access to programs and services for individuals with documented disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and accompanying regulations define a person with a disability as someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, or learning. The purpose of documentation is to validate that the applicant is covered under the ADA. Comprehensive information by a qualified professional is necessary to allow the ECFVG to understand the nature and extent of the applicant's disability and the resulting functional impairment that limits access to its examinations. Documentation also allows the ECFVG to provide appropriate accommodations for such a disability.
Documentation submitted by an applicant in support of a request is reviewed by the ECFVG for consideration and will be forwarded to outside experts for impartial professional review.
The ECFVG Policy on Testing Accommodations provides individuals, schools, professional diagnosticians, and service providers with information regarding how to document a disability and a related need for accommodations for candidates for the ECFVG Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE). The information and documentation submitted should be as comprehensive as possible in order to allow the ECFVG to make an informed decision on the accommodation request and to avoid time delays in the decision-making process.
The purpose of accommodations is to provide equal access to the CPE. Accommodations "match up" with the identified functional limitation so that the area of impairment is mitigated by an auxiliary aid or adjustment to the testing procedure. Functional limitation refers to the behavioral manifestations of the disability that impede the individual's ability to function; that is, what someone cannot do on a regular and continuing basis as a result of the disability. For example, a functional limitation might be an inability to hear within normal limits. An appropriate accommodation might be use of an amplified stethoscope. It is essential that the documentation submitted with an accommodations request provide a clear explanation of the functional impairment and a rationale for the requested accommodation.
As noted in the CPE Manual of Administration, the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) is a hands-on examination of entry-level educational clinical skills and judgments designed for graduates of non-AVMA/Council on Education (COE)-accredited veterinary colleges. The CPE is intended to assess the practical clinical veterinary skills of an "entry-level" veterinarian (ie, a new graduate of an AVMA/COE-accredited school). The CPE Manual of Administration lists the specific clinical proficiency skills measured by each section of the examination.
The ECFVG will provide reasonable accommodations designed to facilitate equal access to the CPE. Accommodations will be considered on a section-by-section basis. Because of the different clinical skills measured by the different sections, accommodations may be provided for some sections but not for others. In no case will accommodations be provided that would compromise any examination section's ability to test accurately the skills and knowledge it purports to measure. Similarly, no auxiliary aid or service will be provided that will fundamentally alter any section of the examination.
As part of the measurement of clinical "efficiency," candidates are assessed on their timely and effective use of resources to complete a procedure. Efficiency is a component of competency. Therefore, an accommodation of additional testing time will not be provided for those sections that assess efficiency. Similarly, no accommodations, including additional testing time, will be provided where the safety and welfare of an animal may be compromised.
While the use of accommodations in the test activity may enable the individual to better demonstrate his or her mastery of clinical skills, accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance, test completion, or a passing score.
When to Request Test Accommodations for the CPE—Once the ECFVG office notifies a candidate who requires accommodations that he or she is eligible for the CPE, the candidate should request an ECFVG Test Accommodation Request Form for the Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) from the ECFVG office at the same time he or she requests a CPE application. A Test Accommodation Request form is also available in Appendix 8 of this Policies and Procedures Manual. The completed ECFVG Test Accommodation Request Form must be submitted to the ECFVG office at the same time as the completed CPE application. Appropriate documentation of the disabling condition and need for accommodations must accompany the ECFVG Test Accommodation Request Form. In order to facilitate processing, the ECFVG encourages applicants to provide detailed and complete responses to the request for test accommodations and accompanying documentation.
How to Request Test Accommodations for the CPE—If a candidate has a documented disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires test accommodations, he/she must notify the ECFVG in writing each time he/she applies for an accommodation. The individual requesting accommodations must personally initiate a written request for test accommodations. Accommodation requests by a third party (such as an evaluator or veterinary school) cannot be honored. Candidates should read and comply with the following seven steps to request accommodations:
General Guidelines for Documenting Disabilities—The following guidelines are provided to assist the applicant in documenting a need for accommodation based on an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. To support a request for test accommodations, a candidate must please submit the following documentation from his/her testing professional:
Guidelines for Documenting Learning Disabilities—The following information is provided to clarify the documentation process for applicants submitting a request for accommodations based specifically on a learning disability or cognitive impairment.
Guidelines for Documenting Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—For those applicants submitting a request for accommodations based specifically on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the following additional information is provided to clarify the documentation process:
Confidentiality—Except where necessary to make a determination of appropriate accommodations, the ECFVG does not disclose names of applicants with disabilities or information concerning the application or accompanying documentation. In that event, such information shall be disclosed only to outside experts and other consultants. Entities receiving verification of certification are not advised of any accommodations provided to the subject candidate.